Mazda announced the successful path to commercializing a higher efficiency engine, one that could reach up to 70 miles per gallon on a tank of gas and offer the benefits, without the drawbacks, of a diesel engine.
The Homogenous-Charge Compression Ignition, or HCCI, has long been the Holy Grail for automakers and after years of research and development Mazda has come out on top over companies with burgeoning budgets such as GM and Daimler AG. The engines are said to be 20-30% more efficient than current offerings in the Mazda lineup and will be part of the Skyactiv suite of engines once it hits the markets in 2018 on the newly redesigned Mazda3. The company is not intending to sell the technology to its competitors, meaning it will retain the cutting-edge knowledge for as long as possible. Mazda still intends to pursue electric vehicles, but sees the new HCCI engine as being the major seller in the upcoming years.
The technology is not perfect, as the engine requires a very specific heat range to operate properly, which is one of the issues with commercialization, but Mazda is supposedly ahead of the curve, and is confident of being able to roll out these new engines en masse without fault. More information is to be released about the specifications as well as safety standards, but this could herald a new era in automotive innovation.